Sometimes I think confessing that we feel shame is equivalent to hanging out our dirty laundry. Who wants to admit they have shame!? Probably no one, lol, but thatís ok. By now I am confident you fine folks are well aware that I am always ready and willing to share what God has placed on my heart. So here goes.
Shame, what a loaded word, felt it deeply as a sexually abused toddler, ever increasingly as an awkward, lonely adolescent, and I suppose I just about died under the weight of it, as a nineteen year old woman pregnant with my third child. I am no stranger to shame, and neither were Adam and Eve. In their plush paradise filled with everything good, no lovely thing was withheld from them. They wanted for nothing, they needed nothing, and they were complete in every way. I canít even imagine how amazing it was to walk in the cool of the day with the Lord over and over and over again. Though with all they had been given, there was one muscle they had not exercised to the extent of their choosing. It was their will.
As we all know full well, they gave into the temptation of eating something that was forbidden them. They were duped into believing a lie, and all of mankind has suffered since. The part that is really sticking out for me today was their immediate realization of their nudity. For the first time in their lives they felt shame, and immediately they sought to cover it! Now of course running around naked would warrant normal shame, and most of us, lol, I say most because there are always those special few, God love them, would agree that keeping our clothes on in front of others is a pretty good idea. There are, interestingly enough, only a few situations where we are allotted moments to behold the wonder of our birthday suits, and as humans, of course we indulge in them. We do not feel ashamed if we are naked for right reasons, but it is quite a different story if we know the reason why we are naked, only if even in part, was not right.
I honestly feel like this applies to not only our body, but our heart (our spirit) and our mind as well. How naked are we willing to get before we feel ashamed? Donít answer that. Just think about it. Well, for me, lol, as a spiritual being, I am as wild and wooly as one might expect, I feel the same way about my mind, I hold very little back in hopes that my stories are always relateable, feel real and like while you read there is someone on the other side who cares, who understands. I truly am like an open book, with the exception of very perplexing things where I know I am out of balance, I try not to bother people with stuff like that because I can ďsortĒ stuff out with Jesus. However, I do bounce those deep things off of my husband and other strong believers because there is safety in the multitude of counselors.
What frees someone up to be so apt to share, when he or she has felt so overwhelmed with shame in the past? Not a good, healthy shame like I mentioned above, but the ugly shame. You know the deep, dark shame that accompanies you when you know that you know you are not living a holy life in an area, or when the nasty attitudes or beliefs you are holding on to about someone start to fester and bubble, but are unwilling or unaware of the need to go to that person and reconcile? HmmÖI think it has a lot to do with the willingness of our hearts. How willing are you to get naked before God? Completely naked, hiding nothing, itís not like he doesnít already know?! I think to the extent you are willing to get naked is the extent you allow yourself to be healed by God.
I ďhadĒ lots of shame, probably more than my fair share, but I refuse to live with it, or think about it, or even carry it around in a little handbag to show off. I refuse. However, I will use it to teach, admonish, encourage and uplift. I will share with you that although Iíve endured an enormous amount of shame, some inflicted on me, some of my own making; I will not allow it to keep me trapped. No, no, no. Instead, the minute that junk starts rearing its head, I RUN to the altar of God, I bow before him, and I ask Him to take it and to heal my hurting heart. In return, he always has a word for me. He reminds me how much he loves me. He tells me how special and important I am to him. He reassures me that no matter what anyone may think of me, he thinks Iím tops!
How dear sisters and brothers, can we ever go wrong with this marvelous One on our team, on our side, cheering us along all the way to heaven? I simply may have been saved too long, lol, but I just canít see any more how we could possibly lose? Itís just win, after win, after win, after win! I do not concern myself with the devil and the roadblocks he tries to throw in my path. Instead I just agree with him quickly, recognize that even Jesus had to rebuke Peter for saying stuff that was out of line with Godís perfect will, and dear Saints, just keep it moving.
Many times in life, people are just peering in. They are curious, they see something in you that they would like to see operating in their lives, but they are not willing to endure what you have endured to get you where you are today. Donít worry about it. Shame can only come on you, if you allow it. You actually have to accept it! Imagine a trusted friend coming up to you with a warm, snuggly blanket, but the closer they get the more you realize the blanket has jaggers in it, and your friend, well he/she is not your friend at all, he/she is an agent being used by the devil to tear you to shreds! FRIEND, you would run like the dickens, SCREAMING for your life! You would never accept that blanket, no, no, no, lol, you would rather run through the woods recklessly, naked and unashamed knowing that Jesus Christ has rescued you. Jesus Christ has set you free! What in the world are you still doing hanging out with briars, get your butt to the cross, and ask Jesus who you really are! Youíll be glad you did, and Jesus my friends is more than willing to show you.
Only ask. Only believe. The plans and purposes he has for your life are real, valid and coming. Only trust, only believe. I get so excited thinking about all of the wonderful promises of God! Hope you are stirred to start believing for some more yourself! It is his great pleasure to give us the kingdom, so come on; letís go get it! And remember we were never created to play the villain, just think of the movie Mega Mind, the main character tried and tried to be evil, lol, but his heart just wouldnít let him. Satan alone is the true villain; we would be wise to remember to him, not on to others, do we owe the punishment of all shame. Jesus never intended for us to live with that junk weighing us down. Never. So please remember if you have ever experienced shame, there is forgiveness for that. Wholeness and healing are available to you through Jesus Christ. I pray right now you would receive that healing and forever be set ablaze on a path that more fully glorifies him alone! So be it!
Pic Ref: http://bibleblender.com/2011/b